CATHERINE OPIE

DENIZ AKKAYA

In her retrospective monograph Catherine Opie (Phaidon), the artist brings together more than 200 images made over the last 40 years from a vast array that reveal the innate humanity we all share.

Catherine Opie was born in 1961 in Sandusky, Ohio. Opie explores the ways in which photographs both document and vocalize social phenomena in America today, recording how people occupy the landscape, along with their attitudes and relationships with themselves and others. At the heart of her research are perplexing questions about community relations, which she explores at different levels across all fields of study.

Mike and Sky (1993)
Catherine Opie, Self-portrait – Nursing (1994)

Working across conceptual and documentary approaches to rendering, Opie explores familiar genres (portrait, landscape, and studio photography) while pursuing surprising uses of serial footage, unexpected compositions, and radically different subjects in parallel. Many of her works capture the expression of individual identity through groups (couples, teams, crowds) and surreptitiously reveal her own biography against her subjects.

For nearly 40 years, Catherine Opie has documented the cultural and geographic identity of contemporary America with psychological acuity. This unique artist monograph offers a compelling visual narrative of Opie’s work since the early 1980s, pairing images between work bodies to create a complete picture of her artistic vision. Created with more than 300 illustrations and in close collaboration with Opie, the book marks a landmark in the assessment of this artist’s work to date.

In her retrospective monograph Catherine Opie (Phaidon), the artist brings together more than 200 images made over the last 40 years from a vast array that reveal the innate humanity we all share. Photographing lesbians or high school football players from the USA, surfers in California or ice fishermen in Minnesota, Opie tunes in to the subtle frequencies of individuals and their communities.